It doesn’t matter if you live on the other side of the world or a couple of doors down the street – in lockdown, every relationship is long distance. Couples across the country have been feeling the strain of separation, and with no clearly definable end in sight, many have given way.
Here are a few things you’ll understand if you’ve gone through a break-up mid-pandemic…
1. It probably happened remotely
There aren’t many good ways to sign off from a relationship, but there are definitely bad ones.
Not being in person feels wrong from the get-go, the lack of physical contact makes a callous process even colder, and tech issues and audio delay can be abysmally timed. There’s even a word for it, ‘zumping’ (Zoom dumping), and it’s often as chaotic as it is hurtful.
It’s not quite break-up by text, but it’s probably the next worst thing, and you more than likely didn’t have a choice.
2. You probably still have lots of their stuff
The cardboard box filled with clothes, toothbrushes and broken memories is still sitting under your desk, and it may now have sat there for months.
On the plus side, spare phone chargers.
3. There’s plenty of awkwardness still to come
Most relationships that last beyond the year mark are entrenched in at least one social circle, and the post-break-up group meet-up is beset by icy stares and uncomfortable acquaintances.
You didn’t dodge the bullet but merely delayed it, and we are not looking forward to that post-pandemic pub trip. Hell hath no fury, as they say, and it may well have been building up for months.
4. It was probably for the right reasons
If there’s one extremely small mercy of being spurned by your lockdown lover, it’s that they almost certainly didn’t cheat on you.
“Is there someone else?” is an understandably common question when unilaterally being given the boot, but mid-pandemic, they’d have to have hidden their torrid affair from their neighbours and the government, not just from you.
Months apart in strenuous circumstances, lives diverging, frustrations building… lockdown break-ups are sad, but easy to understand.
5. It was rough on your cohabitants
Your long-suffering cohabitants – be they friends, family – suddenly had to perform 24 hour emotional labour. In lockdown, households go through break-ups together. There’s no other way.
6. It may have come out of the blue
Timetabled video chats don’t leave much room to read body language, and the little hints and hesitations that might normally serve as red flags can easily be lost in translation.
It’s not hard to fake it through a webcam, and the dumpee could be caught completely off guard.
7. It’s very difficult to get closure
You can’t go out with friends, drowning your sorrows takes on a different complexion when it’s just you and your sofa, and you certainly can’t get over by getting under.
Nope, it’s just you, your living room, and your shattered emotions.